SWAMI – THE DIVINE PLANNER AND
EVENT MANAGER – Experiences shared by Prof. Sathya Gourisankar
An Eye-witness Narration
-Prof. Sathya Gourisankar
The following narration is an account of Swami’s response to my father’s devotion. In this episode, I had the good fortune to be both a first-hand eye witness as well as an instrument of Swami. I am narrating the incidents exactly as they occurred.
It was the summer of 1992. I was employed as a scientist in a medical device company in USA. Along with my siblings in US, I invited my parents to visit us all for a few months. After much persuasion, they arrived in New York on 21st May 1992. I had meticulously planned a holiday cum sight-seeing trip for them over the next few months. Here is how my plan got revised by Swami’s “Master Plan”!
Four days after his arrival, my father developed urinary bleeding. I rushed him to the emergency room where they gave antibiotics and suggested I follow up with a urologist. Two days later, I took him to a urologist who performed tests and gave us the shocking news that my father had extensive bladder cancer all over, which required a major surgery. His visitor’s medical insurance could not cover it and it would be very expensive for us to pay out of pocket. After receiving the cancer diagnosis, my parents and I visited a nearby Krishna Temple, offered our prayers and sought the Lord’s help to deal with the crisis. We were too dazed and did not know how to go about dealing with this matter. One of our earliest reactions I can recollect is my mother writing a heartfelt letter addressed to Swami (dated around 4th June 1992) and mailing to my uncle (late Prof. A.N. Mohana Krishnan) who was then a faculty in Swami’s Management College at Prasanthi Nilayam. She merely mentioned the diagnosis, our family’s state of shock and asked if he could convey to Swami (if and when Swami might talk to him during Darshan) about our situation to seek His help. She felt that since he was a faculty in Swami’s college and had the privilege of the “Verandah Darshan,” there was a chance he could somehow convey her prayers to Swami in person! Following the mailing of this letter, we started to witness Swami take charge and a divinely orchestrated drama unfold with a series of inexplicable events, listed below as a timeline summary.
Event 1: (4th June 1992)
By a “chance” encounter, we got connected near our place in New Jersey, USA with an old family friend from our home town in India (Chittoor, Andhra Pradesh) where my father was a practising lawyer. It turned out that our friend (with whom we had lost touch) had become a urologist and was practising near our place of residence.
As soon as I contacted and told him about my father, he was very kind and asked us to see him right away. Following his examination, he told us the following: Yes, the diagnosis is that your father has bladder cancer which is both extensive as well as appearing to be of the highest stage of malignancy, perhaps even inoperable. He then mentioned to us he had specialized in that very area within the field of urology, namely, adult oncology, and was one of only a few experts who was trained in those days to perform a complex surgery known as “Radical Cysto-Prostatectomy”. He also sat down with my father in his clinic and strongly persuaded him to undergo this surgery in US as it could not be done in India where my father wanted to go back for treatment. Based on his comments, my father agreed to undergo the surgery in US and the date was set at 17th June 1992, with a number of pre-surgical procedures such as biopsies, ultrasounds, etc., being scheduled over the next few days. Since I was the principal instrument and “errand boy” of Swami in this episode, I was going through a hectic period trying to juggle between hospital visits, my job responsibilities and domestic situation. One of the first big issues for me to deal with was the huge medical expenses looming.
I had just received confirmation in writing that medical insurance coverage was denied citing it as a pre-existing condition for a visitor’s policy. Due to this, I had lost all hopes of insurance coverage and was scrambling to gather finances for handling this large commitment. At this time, around 8th June 1992, just a few days prior to the surgery, Swami came in my dream in the early hours and said the following exact words in English and disappeared: You proceed with the surgery; I will take care of the insurance. I woke up clearly recollecting every word in the dream. These dream words of Swami seemed too far-fetched and unreal then since insurance had already flatly denied coverage in writing to me. Therefore, I chose not to take the dream seriously and put it out of my mind.
Event 2: (16th June 1992)
On the day prior to surgery, i.e., 16th June 1992, I drove my father to the hospital for admission. After settling him in the room, I called home to receive the following surprise news from my wife. It seems, as I was driving to hospital, a gentleman by name, Mr. Mohammed, called from London and told my wife that the insurance company had decided to revise their original denial of coverage for my father’s surgery and now were going to cover the full expenses except for a small portion of the deductible costs as per the policy rules. When I heard this, my first reaction was she must have misheard or misunderstood because insurance industry would never of their own accord revise their denials which were made in writing and this must be a mistake which I should ignore. My wife then told me he also mentioned that he had sent a fax of this to the hospital and I could get it from the hospital records department. I now decided to check it out; so, I went to the records department of the hospital to ask if they had received such a fax. Lo and behold, they gave me a print out of the fax with the exact words spoken over the telephone by Mr. Mohammed to my wife! Until then or thereafter, I could never find or speak to a “Mr. Mohammed” from that company, try as much as I could!
Event 3: (17th June 1992)
The day of surgery dawned, 17th June 1992. My father was wheeled in at 8.30 a.m. The doctor told us that it was going to be a long surgery since it required the removal of prostrate and bladder and the creation of a new bladder from the small intestine. After ten hours of surgery, the doctor came out and told us that it went well and my father would be in ICU over the next few days. The first thing my father mentioned to us as soon as he gained consciousness was that he saw Swami standing around his bed, placing His hand on the surgical area and blessing him as he was coming out of anaesthesia! He then started to recover gradually and was in the hospital over the next two weeks, being attended upon by a multiple set of clinicians.
Within about a week following surgery, my mother received a response from my uncle in Prasanthi Nilayam to the letter she had written earlier about the surgery. It seems her letter to him got re-directed to Bengaluru where he was attending a Summer Course of Swami. On the day he received it, he took it for Darshan, was holding it in hand when Swami came straight to him and asked him to talk about the letter in detail and listened intently. It seems after my uncle explained the whole matter, Swami replied in acknowledgement that He knows it all, will take care and then He took the letter. It is remarkable that, on that very day and at the same time Swami talked to him, the surgery was happening in US without my uncle knowing about it!
Following the surgery, the biopsy samples which were sent to the laboratory came back with a stunningly surprising result for the medical community – the malignancy was nowhere near the advanced stage expected by the doctors; in fact, it was near benign! The surgeon was so startled at this result that he resent the pathology slides to another laboratory for confirmation and they also had the same conclusion. The surgical team then mentioned to us that this was the rarest case they had seen and were going to present and publish these results in a clinical meeting and journal!
Event 4: (July – 23rd November 1992)
In the next few months (July–September of 1992), we witnessed the recovery and improvement of my father’s health to a considerable extent and by early October of 1992, he was fit enough to travel across US and spend time with my siblings and relatives in other cities of USA. This was indeed a remarkable turnaround to witness over a four month period. Immediately following this major surgery, as is the customary ritual in USA, the patients and their families started receiving bills and invoices for medical expenses from a multitude of attending clinicians, support staff, hospitals and testing laboratories. Although I gained immense relief and joy at my father’s surgery going smoothly and his excellent recovery, I had to now face the next set of challenges in having to deal with the mounting paperwork and deadlines of medical bills and payments. At this stage also, I was sceptical if Swami’s improbable
sounding dream assurance on taking care of insurance was valid, whether the insurance company would really pay as promised, if “Mr. Mohammed’s fax” was genuine and so on! My doubts were based on the experiences many have had in dealing with the health insurance industry. As a trial, I began to forward the first set of bills and to my surprise, they got paid promptly. By the end of October 1992, all the clinicians and support staff were paid and only the hospital stay costs were now remaining. The insurance company asked me to request the hospital to forward the patient file to them for paying the hospital costs. I was often asking the hospital to send it over so I could wrap up this saga. After nearly three months of procrastination, I was told by the hospital of the following: they could not trace the file of my father; therefore, they were totally waiving all his hospitalization costs, and neither the insurance company nor I would be liable for any costs incurred.
I was once again stunned at this turn of events; so, I requested them to send this information in writing. I received the following letter on Swami’s 67th Birthday, dated 23rd November 1992, from the hospital:
“Due to internal hospital problems, we are unable to submit insurance carrier prior documentation required by your father, to them paying his hospital bill. Because of this problem, we will not hold your father responsible for the balance of $XXXX”.
I could not believe my eyes or ears at this stage. Here is a modern-day hospital with state-of-the-art computers and documentation systems, my father undergoes a major surgery involving three top-notch surgeons (two urologists and one rectal surgeon), he is hospitalised post surgery for about two weeks, undergoes a huge number of daily tests and procedures and his entire medical file is missing now!
Only then on 23rd November 1992 did it strike me that about five months earlier, when the whole surgery drama started to unfold, Swami had appeared in my dream and said in the clearest manner: “You proceed with the surgery, I will take care of the insurance”. How those so improbable sounding words of Swami of June 1992 came to be so true on His Birthday on 23rd November 1992, all in less than six months of high intensity drama scripted across the fields of surgery, science, healing and even insurance!
My father returned to India in March 1993 following the surgery. He lived in perfectly good health for a period of 18 years thereafter and passed away in 2010. Swami’s involvement in his end was also very evident – he passed away on 22nd November 2010, just a day prior to Swami’s 85th Birthday, on the most auspicious Karthika Somavar (Monday), in total ease and with absolutely no suffering.
This incident had a huge impact on me as a youngster journeying through life with scientific training and not quite accustomed to easily accepting anything outside the domains of reason, logic, facts and data. It taught me in a powerful way that there was more to life than the mere external world based on sensory experiences and that there was an “unseen” hand of God which was all important. Upon reflection after many years, I am left with a feeling of deep gratitude to Swami for taking care of our family in this episode and through many others with such indescribable love, affection and care!
Through this incident, Swami revealed to us that He is the greatest “Event Manager” and when He takes charge, it is the “Complete Package”, from beginning to end.
– A scientist by profession, the author is a Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, U.S.A. (published in Sanathana Sarathi, 23 October, 2017)